The Gold Coast capitalises on new sporting craze

The Gold Coast community has already embraced one of the country’s fasting growing sports with pickleball clubs springing up all over the coast, and now the city has secured the right to host the sports’ biggest competition, the Australian Pickleball Championships.

The four-year deal secured by Experience Gold Coast will see professional and amateur pickleball players descend on the Gold Coast for six days every October from 2024-2027, with numbers expected to grow year-on-year starting with close to 1000 players in 2024.

Pickleball’s popularity has exploded across the country and we’re excited to be part of the sport’s exceptional growth by hosting its premier event on the Gold Coast for the next four years,” said Experience Gold Coast CEO John Warn.

“We’re proud to be able to add pickleball to the city’s already diverse and vibrant calendar of major events. These mass participation sporting events don’t just provide a significant economic boost for the local visitor economy but showcase our incredible destination to the rest of the country at the same time.”

Pickleball is a paddle sport played with two or four people that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. Originating in the US back in the 60s, the humble backyard game soon boomed with clubs in every US state, then in more than 60 countries. The fast-growing sport found its way to Australia in 2015, where an estimated 30,000 now play the sport socially across the country with close to 140 clubs.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said that as the city with the largest pickleball association in Queensland, and Australia, it made sense to hold the national championships here.

“Pickleball is booming around the country and nowhere more so than right here on the Gold Coast where some of Australia’s top pickleball champions live and play,” said Mayor Tom Tate.

“We can’t wait to welcome the 1000-plus players and their supporters to our city for the first time in 2024 for this six-day festival of pickleball. Give me a paddle and let’s see what all the fuss is about!”

The 2024 Australian Pickleball Championship will be held at KDV Sport in Carrara from 2-7 October, with the sport and lifestyle facility set to be transformed into the official home of pickleball over the six days.

Spectators are invited to not just watch the action on court but pick up a paddle and give it a go themselves.

“Pickleball Australia are delighted to bring the 2024-2027 Australian Pickleball Championships to the Gold Coast,” said Brendan Lee, Executive Officer of Pickleball Australia. “The Gold Coast is the perfect location for our pickleball community to come together to crown our nation’s best and celebrate Australia’s fastest-growing sport.”

“As we close in on 10,000 official members nationwide and approximately 30,000 participants, we know our members from around Australia and the world will flock to the event to experience the festival-like atmosphere and test themselves against Australia’s best. The Gold Coast is home to many of Australia’s top opens, senior, junior and para-pickleball players including Sarah Burr, Dion Reweti, Jenny and Raymond Ware and Oliver Gray.”

“The 2023 Championships saw more than 700 participants compete at Blacktown in Western Sydney and we believe we will see the 2024 event eclipse 1000 entries and set a new Southern Hemisphere record.”

The 2024 Australian Pickleball Championships will also be livestreamed.

Gold Coast secures a second Tszyu world title blockbuster

Australian boxing sensation Tim Tszyu has once again chosen the Gold Coast as the host city for his highly anticipated WBO world title fight against American Brian Mendoza.

The exciting announcement was made at a press conference in Las Vegas earlier today.

The blockbuster featuring the two champions will be held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC) on Sunday October 15.

It will be Tszyu’s second world title bout on the Gold Coast this year after he won against Mexican fighter Carlos Ocampo in June with a thrilling 77-second first-round knockout.

With Tszyu’s international stardom on the rise the October 15 clash on the Gold Coast will be a must-see event for boxing fans around the world.

“It’s on! The biggest world title bout in Australia this year – right here on the Gold Coast,’’ said Mayor Tom Tate.

“Gold Coasters have adopted Tim as their own so to have him choose our city for this blockbuster is incredible news. “This will be a monumental fight night bringing together two champions from the WBO and WBC Super Welterweight divisions. I’m backing Tim to stand proud on October 15 and deliver the goods for Australia.’’

“This fight is a massive coup for the Gold Coast and Australia,” said No Limit Boxing CEO George Rose. “The energy of a world title fight week in one of the best locations in the country is something not to be missed.”

The Tszyu-Mendoza blockbuster will once again put the Gold Coast in the global spotlight as a world-class events city, with the match to be broadcast worldwide.

June’s Tszyu-Ocampo fight generated extensive international media coverage showcasing the destination to tens of millions of people globally. The live broadcast too across Showtime Boxing in the USA, and Fox Sports, Kayo Sports and Main Event in Australia, ensured the Gold Coast match reached the biggest boxing fans around the world.

More than half of the capacity crowd at the June match was from outside the Gold Coast with visitors for the fight staying the weekend, providing a significant boost for the local economy.

The clash against Mendoza is expected to generate even more interest with the fight likely to be the last time Australians will get to see Tszyu fight at home in a long time with the boxer to head overseas following a win in October.

With the addition of the Tim Tszyu world title fight, October and November are gearing up to be a bumper couple of months of major events on the Gold Coast with four huge events over four consecutive weekends.

On October 15 Tim Tszyu takes on Brian Mendoza, the following weekend (20-22 October) the award-winning Groundwater Country Music Festival returns with more than 50 artists across 14 stages, then the supercars are back in the streets of Surfers Paradise for the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 for three days from 27 October. In early November (4 November) Sir Paul McCartney will bring his Got Back tour to the Gold Coast’s Heritage Bank Stadium.

For more information and tickets visit the No Limit Boxing website.

This event is proudly supported by Major Events Gold Coast and the Queensland Government via Tourism and Events Queensland.

MEGC celebrates two years of securing major new events for the city

An international airshow, a global superstar, a BMX Freestyle World Cup and an English Premier League team – in the past two years Major Events Gold Coast (MEGC) has secured some of the world’s biggest international events for the city.

July marks MEGC’s second birthday and there are plenty of reasons to celebrate said CEO Jan McCormick.

Major Events Gold Coast CEO Jan McCormick:

MEGC was created in July 2020 to build a portfolio of major world-class events for this city, and we are steadily doing just that with some huge wins in our first two years.

In a massive coup for the Gold Coast, Major Events Gold Coast could finally share the news in May that one of the world’s largest and most spectacular air shows would be hosted in the city from 2023.

We were determined to secure Pacific Airshow Gold Coast. It well and truly cements our city's reputation as a world-class events destination with capacity to host the biggest events and shows on the planet. There were many times we thought we might not pull this off, it involved more than two years of negotiation and meticulous planning across multiple time zones, all while navigating a global pandemic. We are thrilled the Gold Coast will see the airshow in our skies for the next five years at least.

The airshow is a game changer for the Gold Coast, attracting visitors from not just across Australia but across the world, bringing a significant and much-needed city-wide economic boost.

This weekend another global blockbuster secured with the help of MEGC will take centre stage – the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Cruiserweight World Title Fight. It’s the first time the city has hosted a world title match. The event will be broadcast live around the globe ensuring all eyes are on the Gold Coast.

Later in the month, the city will host English Premier League club Leeds United FC when they take on Brisbane Roar, another first for the city. Then in December, a UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup, an Australia first.

MEGC has also been excited to announce a host of major new international music and cultural events for the Gold Coast, including legendary band Guns N’ Roses performing at Metricon Stadium in November, and global superstar Harry Styles who will bring his Love On Tour here in February 2023.

Major Events Gold Coast CEO Jan McCormick:

The Harry Styles tour announcement is a fantastic win for the Gold Coast, and will be his only Queensland performance. Having international live acts of this calibre continues to elevate the city’s reputation as a world-class major events destination and is something to really celebrate. The city is continuing to grow as a must-visit live music destination, and MEGC is excited to continue to work with promoters to secure more international live music events for the Gold Coast.

MEGC also delivers a portfolio of its own award-winning festivals Blues on Broadbeach, Groundwater Country Music Festival, Cooly Rocks On and the new SPRINGTIME festival set to showcase some of our best home grown and local contemporary artists on beach stages in Surfers Paradise.

MEGC Festival Director Mark Duckworth:

Despite the challenges of the past couple of years MEGC was still able to successfully deliver hugely popular music festivals for the city. The reopening of international borders this year came just in time for both Cooly Rocks On and Blues on Broadbeach, allowing us to invite artists from New Zealand, Indonesia, Japan and the USA, and our confidence continues to grow in adding international programming to our festivals.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the coast’s growing calendar of world-class music, sporting, arts, and cultural events amplified the city’s reputation globally putting the Gold Coast firmly on the map as the ultimate major events destination.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate:

Major Events Gold Coast has worked behind the scenes for the past two years to deliver, attract and secure some of the most spectacular and significant international events you'll see anywhere in the world. That dogged persistence has paid off and the local economy will reap the benefits of that today, and well into the future.

And MEGC is just getting started.

Help shape the city’s growth as a major events destination

SHARE YOUR VIEWS IN OUR CITY’S MAJOR EVENTS STRATEGY SURVEY

Have you attended a major event on the Gold Coast recently?

Do you work in the events sector, or are a local resident and have a view on the types of major events you would like to see more of on the Gold Coast?

Work is underway to develop a five-year strategy for the management and delivery of major events on the Gold Coast.

Commissioned by Major Events Gold Coast (MEGC) in partnership with Griffith University the strategy marks an exciting new chapter for our city and will provide direction for how the Gold Coast continues to build on its established reputation for hosting major events.

We are interested in hearing the views of Gold Coast residents, major event attendees and other key stakeholder groups involved with the major events sector on the economic, social and reputational value of major events to the Gold Coast.

You are invited to complete an anonymous 10-minute online survey to share your views. Your input will shape the city’s aspirations and its growth as a major events destination.

To complete the survey, click on the button below. Closes Monday 28 March.

MORE INFORMATION

This survey is being administered by Griffith University and has ethics approval (approval no. 2021/891).

Find out more about the project here

If you require further information please contact lead researcher Associate Professor Leonie Lockstone-Binney at gift@griffith.edu.au.